Joshua 12


Joshua 12:1–24

Summary of the Land and Kings Conquered by Israel

Outline of Chapter 12:

       Vv.  1–6       The people and land conquered by Moses east of the Jordan River

       Vv.  7–8       The people and lands conquered by Joshua west of the Jordan River

       Vv.  9–24     A list of the kings defeated by Joshua

Maps, Charts and Short Doctrines:


       v.    16          Debate: Did Israel Conquer Bethel?

I ntroduction: In the previous few chapters, we have specific engagements between Joshua and particular groups of people, as well as Joshua’s defeat of the southern alliance of kings and the northern coalition of kings. However, in Joshua 12, we get a more complete list of all the kings that Joshua and his men have defeated. Keep in mind that these kings are not kings of great empires, but kings of what are essentially cities and not quite city-states. This chapter will cover all of the kings defeated in the north and the south of the Land of Promise. In fact, in the spirit of completeness, the first portion of this chapter tells us the area and the peoples that Moses defeated east of the Jordan and the second half deals with the area and peoples defeated by Joshua west of the Jordan. Vv. 1–6 will deal with the kings defeated and the land conquered east of the Jordan, whereas the remainder of this chapter will deal with same west of the Jordan. The second portion of this chapter could be further subdivided into the land taken in western Palestine (vv. 7–8); kings defeated in southern Palestine (vv. 9–16); kings defeated in central Palestine (vv. 17–18); and kings defeated in northern Palestine (vv. 19–24).

What Joshua accomplished was not a complete victory over the land and all its inhabitants, but he established a military superiority upon which his people would have to build. “And Jehovah your God will clear away these nations before your face little by little. You will not be able to put an end to them quickly, so that the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. But Jehovah your God will deliver them before your face and He will throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed.” (Deut. 7:11–12). Besides, Joshua was relatively old himself and would not live long enough to see the complete and unequivocal subjugation of this land. Now Joshua was old, advanced in years, when Jehovah said, to him, “You are old, advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed. This is the land that remains; all the regions of the Philistines and all of the Geshurites; from Shihor which is east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron, to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines; the Gazite, the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, the Ekronites; and the Avvite to the south, all the land of the Canaanite and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite; and the land of the Gebalite; and all of Lebanon, toward the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will drive them out from before the sons of Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you.” (Joshua 13:1–6). Zodhiates: During the seven-year military campaign (see Josh. 14:7–10), the borders of Israel were expanded from Kadesh-barnea in the south (Josh. 10:41) to the foothills of Mount Hermon in the north (Josh. 11:17). Joshua’s task now was to distribute the land among the tribes and leave the further conquest to God (Josh. 13:6, 7). The details of the distribution are given in chapters 13–21. Footnote NIV: [This is the] conclusion of the first section of Joshua, and a summary of the victories of the Israelites and the cities whose kings had been defeated. Footnote

Along these same lines, When Critics Ask poses the question were these cities mentioned in this chapter conquered here or later. The answer is simple: some of these cities were completely conquered and subdued (e.g., Jericho and Ai) and some had their armies defeated and their king executed, but the people had not yet been destroyed (e.g., Dor or Megiddo—see Joshua 17:12).

McGee’s introduction to this chapter: Now in chapter 12 we are given the names of the kings which Israel conquered. Frankly, a chapter like this is not very exciting to me. But the thing that impresses me is the detail that the God of this universe has given in items like this. We would think that He would constantly be dealing with great issues in grandiose terms, but God gets right down to the nitty-gritty where you and I live. There is a less for us here. You and I sometimes hesitate to take to God in prayer the little details of our lives. We think, I ought not to talk to Him about things like that. Well, friends, talk to Him about those things. He wants to hear them. Footnote Unfortunately, because of McGee’s predilection here, we will not hear much from him until we get to the final few chapters of the book of Joshua.

McGee finds these chapters boring, as do most people. However, for me, once I get into the information behind the lists; once I get a feel for the rich history of these places, much of which is presenting in God’s Word, then the chapter suddenly opens up for me and comes to life. It is an excuse to look back and summarize what has previously occurred and then to look ahead to see what is coming.


The People and Land Conquered by Moses East of the Jordan River

Num. 21:21–35 Deut. 2:17–3:17



Smoother English rendering:

And these [are] kings of the land whom sons of Israel struck and so they took possession of their land beyond the Jordan toward the sunrising, from a valley of Arnon unto a mountain of Hermon and all the Arabah eastward:



And these are the kings of the land whom the sons of Israel struck down and then took possession of their land—that is, the land on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the Valley of Arnon on up to Mount Hermon; and all of the Arabah eastward:


The two verbs are Hiphil perfect of nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH] which means smite, assault, hit, strike. It is not found in the Qal, so the Hiphil does not necessarily carry with it causative action. Strong #5221 BDB #645. The second verb is the Qal imperfect of yârash (ש ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHSH] means to possess, to take possession of, to occupy [all] geographical area—by driving out the previous occupants], to inherit, to dispossess. Strong’s #3423 BDB #439.


After Jordan we have the bêyth preposition and the construct of ׳êber (ר ב ֵע) [pronounced ĢAYB-ver] and it means region across, beyond, side. With mêm, it means on the opposite side, on the other side. With the bêyth preposition, it means beyond. Strong's #5676 BDB #719. This modifies some of the land which is being discussed. The Israelites engaged in basically three campaigns: (1) east of the Jordan; (2) southern Canaan; and (3) northern Canaan, the first being unintended and the last taking the longest period of time.

The Arnon Valley is the valley surrounding the Arnon river, which is now a wadi, which flows into the Dead Sea from the east, and is essentially the boundary between Moab and Ammon (Num. 21:13). It was in this area that Israel took its first possession of land. This is more or less a southern boundary as well as an eastern boundary.

Mount Hermon is the northern border of Israel, falling between Phoenicia and Syria. The Arabah is the valley which runs from the Sea of Chinnereth along the Jordan, down around the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. The land of Israel did not go quite that far south yet. So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og, the king of Bashan, the land with its cities with their territories, the cities of the surrounding land (Num. 32:33). By including this territory captured under Moses and given to the two and a half tribes, Joshua reaffirms the unity of Israel by including them in this enumeration of kings and land conquered.

Sihon, king of the Amorite, the one dwelling in Heshbon ruling from Aroer which [is] by [the] lip of a valley of Arnon and a midst of the valley and half of the Gilead and unto Jabbok the river a boundary of sons of [the] Ammonite.



Sihon, the king of the Amorites, the one who lived in Heshbon and ruled from Aroer, which is by the edge of the valley of Arnon and in the middle of the valley; and halfway up Gilead to the Jabbok River—these are the boundaries of the Ammonites.

Let’s see what others have done:


The Emphasized Bible      Sihon, king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon,—ruling from Aroer, which is on the edge of the ravine of Arnon, and the middle of the ravine, and half Galead, even as far as the ravine Jabbok, the boundary of the sons of Ammon.

NASB                                Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, both the middle of the valley and half of Gilead, even as far as the book Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon;

Owen's Translation           Sihon, king of the Amorites who dwelt at Hesbon and ruled from Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon and from the middle of the valley; that is, half of Gilead as far as Jabbok the river, the boundary of the Ammonites.

Young's Lit. Translation     Sihon, king of the Amorite, who is dwelling in Heshbon, ruling from Aroer which is on the border of the brook Arnon, and the middle of the brook, and half of Gilead, and unto Jabok the brook, the border of the Bene-Ammon;


We recall Sihon from Num. 21; he was the king of the Amorites that Moses defeated. As is often the case, Amorite is in the singular, although it refers to the entire population. The one dwelling or who is dwelling is the definite article and the Qal active participle of dwell. Sihon lives in Heshbon, the capital city. Following Heshbon, we have the Qal active participle of mâshal (ל ַש ָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAHL], which is quite a verb in the Hebrew. In the Niphal, Hiphil, and Hithpael, it means to represent, to be like, to become like, to be similar to (Psalm 28:1 49:13, 21 Job 30:19 Isa. 46:5); in the Qal and the Piel, it means to use a proverb, to speak in parables, to speak in poetic sentences (Num. 21:22 Ezek. 16:14 17:2). Strong assigns these two sets of meanings the same number (Strong’s #4911). As you no doubt noticed, we are dealing with different stems of the verb and different kinds of authors. The poetic books tend to go with the first meaning; Ezekiel and Numbers (these two books and Leviticus share a number of words) tend to use it with the second meaning. The meaning which is found here—a meaning found in the Qal and Hiphil, is to rule, to have dominion, to reign (see Gen. 3:16 Ex. 21:8 Psalm 103:19 Isa. 40:10 Ezek. 19:11). This second meaning is by far the most widely used. Strong’s #4910 BDB #605.


amorites.gifThis is really a crappy image. I have tried tif, pcx and bmp; all look crappy. Maybe when I got over to win 95 I can spiff it up? This files pull up nice in Jijack in all formats

Sihon ruled the Amorites from Aroer. Aroer is followed by the relative pronoun, the preposition ׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ahl ] and it means, primarily, upon, against, above. When ׳al is used in connection with something geographical, particularly water; it has the connotation of contiguity or proximity; so here, it means by. Strong's #5920, #5921 BDB #752. This is followed by the feminine singular construct of sâphâh (ה ָפ ָ) [pronounced saw-FAWH], which means lip, speech, edge. Strong’s #8193 BDB #973. This is followed by the valley of Arnon. The Arnon River was the southern border of both Ammon and Gilead (wherein the Amorites lived). The valley of Arnon was the lower area surrounding the river. This river runs east-west and it is east of the Dead Sea running into the Dead Sea. Aroer was on the on the north river bank of the river Arnon, 14 miles east of the Dead Sea.

This is followed by, literally, and a midst of the valley and half of the Gilead. Gilead is both a city and an area. Here, the reference is to the area, which runs north from the Arnon River on up to the Yarmuk River, bordered on the west by the Jordan and half of the Dead Sea, and on the east by Ammon. The northern border was the Jabbok River, which runs east-west through the middle of Gilead. “Half-Gilead” is the mountains district on the south side of the Jabbok (see Deut. 3:17). Footnote Now, don’t become confused—the Amorites and the Ammonites lived side-by-side in this area. Recall the passage in Num. 21:21–27, 31: Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, saying, “Let me pass through your land. We will not turn off into field or vineyard; we will not drink water from wells. We will go by the king’s highway until we have passed through your border.” But Sihon would not permit Israel t pass through his border. So Sihon gathered all his people and went out against Israel in the wilderness and came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. Then Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and took possession of his land from Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the sons of Ammon; for the border of the sons of Ammon was Jazer. And Israel took all these cities and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all her villages. For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former kings of Moab and had taken all his land out of his hand as far as the Arnon...thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. Moses reminded his people of this conquest in Deut. 2:17–19, 24–37: “And Jehovah spoke to me, saying, ‘You will cross over Ar, the border of Moab today, and when you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession. Arise, set out, and pass through the valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle. This day I will begin to place the dread and the fear of you before the peoples under all the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguished because of you.’ So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon, king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying, ‘All me to pass through your land. I will travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left. You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, only allow me to pass through on foot, just as the sons of Esau, who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross over the Jordan into the land which Jehovah our God is giving to us.’ But, Sihon, the king of Heshbon, was not willing for us to pass through his land, for Jehovah your God hardened his spirit and strengthened his heart, in order to deliver him into your hand, as it stands today. And Jehovah said to me, ‘Observe, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land into your hand. Begin to occupy it, so that you may possess his land.’ Then Sihon and all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, and Jehovah our God delivered him into our hands; and we defeated him with his sons and all his people. So we captured all of his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivors. We took only the animals as our recompense and the spoil of the cities which we had captured. From Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and the city which is in the valley even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us. Jehovah our God delivered all over to us. Only, you did not go near the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever Jehovah our God had commanded us.” This land was given over to the tribes of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh (Num. 32:31–33 Joshua 13:7–12).

And the Arabah to [the] Sea of Chinnereth eastward and unto a sea of the Arabah, a sea of the Salt, eastward a way of Beth the Jeshimoth and from south [or, Têymân] beneath footings of Pisgah;



And the Arabah to the Sea of Chinnereth easward to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, eastward along the way of Beth-Jeshimoth and from Teman beneath the foothills of Pisgah;

As we have seen, the Arabah can refer to valley running along the Jordan from the Sea of Chinnereth to the Salt Sea and sometimes as far as the Gulf of Aqaba. When referring to the land taken by Israel, it primarily is the valley which extends as far as the Salt Sea, but not further. The sea of Arabah is equivalent to the Salt Sea (or, Dead Sea).


I believe that as I have studied the Law and this book of Joshua, I have spelled Chinnereth in a dozen different ways, as it is so spelled throughout the various translations. So, I am thinking that it is about time to see how it was really spelled. In the Hebrew, it is Kinerôth (תר  ׃נ  ̣) [pronounced kin-ROHTH], although it is spelled differently elsewhere. Strong’s #3672 BDB #490.


Beth-Jeshimoth is mentioned only in Num. 33:49, Joshua 13:20 and here. It means house of the desert and was the last stopping place of the Israelites prior to crossing over the Jordan River. It was one of the cities near Heshbon. Following Beth-Jeshimoth, we have the wâw conjunction, the mîn preposition and the proper noun, the feminine singular of têtmân (ן ָמי ֵ) [pronounced tay-MAHN], which means south, southward. It is also a district of northern Edom and often refers to Edom. In such a case, we would transliterate it as Têymân. Strong’s #8486 (and #8487 as a proper noun) BDB #412. This is probably the usage as a proper noun referring to a town in northern Edom.


After Teman, we have the preposition tachath (ת ַח ַ) [pronounced TAH-khahth], which means underneath, below, under beneath. Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065. What it is beneath is the feminine plural construct of ashedoth (תֹ  ׃ש ַא) [pronounced ashe-DÔTH], which literally means a pouring out [of streams], and has come to mean a foundation, mountain slopes, a low place at the foot of mountains. We might get away rendering it foothills. Strong's #794 BDB #78. Pisgah is a mountain which overlooks the plains of Moab, where the Israelites had camped (Num. 21:20); to the west, one can see the Dead Sea (Deut. 3:17 4:49). It is from this point that Abraham looked out in all directions, as far as he could see; and it was the land God had given to Abram’s descendants (Deut. 3:27). This seems to be used to identify where Teman is.

And a border of Og, king of Bashan, from a remnant of the Rephaim, the dwellers in Ashtaroth and in Edrei;



And the border of Og, the king of Bashan, who was of the remnant of Rephaim, the ones who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei;


In the Greek, this simply reads And Og, king of Bashan... In the Hebrew, prior to Og, we have the masculine singular construct of gebvûl (לב׃) [pronounced geb-VOOL], which means border, boundary, territory. Strong’s #1366 BDB #147. You will recall Og from Num. 21:33–6: Then they turned and went up by the way of Bashan, and Og, the king of Bashan, went out with all his people, to battle at Edrei. But Jehovah said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand and all his people and his land; and you will do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” So they killed him and his sons and all his people, until there was no remnant left him; and they possessed his land. Og was the next stepping stone which Moses and his people had to go through to get to the land. Moses had no fight with this man. Og and Sihon both chose to oppose Moses and they died for this negative volition. The victory which God gave Moses would be long remembered. Nearly a thousand years later, we find written in the book of Nehemiah: “You [God] also gave them kingdoms and peoples. And You allotted to them a boundary. And they book possession of the land of Sihon, king of Heshbon, and the land of Og, king of Bashan.” (Neh. 9:22; see also Psalm 135:10–11).

As we will recall, the Rephaim were a people among whom were giants; they were a populous and important group of people, mentioned as far back in Scripture as Gen. 14:5. They first occupied the areas of Ammon and Edom and were pushed north. All that remained of them was Og, king of Bashan. Ashtaroth and Edrei were apparently cities further north in Bashan which we will cover in more detail at the end of chapter 13.

And ruling in a mountain of Hermon and in Salecah and in all of the Bashan to a border of the Geshurite and the Maacathite and half of the Gilead, Footnote a boundary of Sihon, king of Heshbon.



And ruling at Mount Hermon and in Salecah and in all of Bashan to the border of the Gershurites and the Maacathites to half of Gilead, which was a border to Sihon, king of Heshbon.

Mount Hermon is north of Lake Huleh. Salecah is a city on the eastern border of Bashan and is mentioned only here, Deut. 3:10 and Joshua 13:11. This would be assigned to the eastern portion of the area given to Manasseh. The Geshurites were a people whose border mingled with that of Bashan. They are mentioned as one set of peoples whom the Israelites did not drive out (Joshua 13:11, 13). Maacathites are another small people who co-existed with Israel northeast of the Jordan. We will look at these peoples at a later date when we study David (I Sam. 27:8).

Moses, servant of Yehowah and sons of Israel struck them and so he gave her, Moses, servant of Yehowah, a possession to the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to a half tribe of the Manasseh.



Moses, the servant of Jehovah, and the sons of Israel defeated these people and Moses, the servant of Jehovah, gave this area as a possession to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.

Recall that Moses and the Israelites were not looking to go to war with these people. They were so negative toward God that they stood in the way of Moses and his people and required them to go to war. Moses soundly defeated the peoples on the east side of the Jordan, sending groups of them running to the north. The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, being ranchers and all having cattle, determined that this land was ideal for them, so Moses promised it to them.

Moses also recalled the events of the first half of this chapter when he addressed the people. “So Jehovah our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we struck them until there were no remaining survivors. And we captured all of his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them—sixty cities, all of the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many un-walled towns. And we completely destroyed them, as we did to Sihon, king of Heshbon, completely destroying the men, women and children of every city. But all of the animals and the spoil of the cities, we took as our recompense. So we took the land at that time from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon (The Sidonians called Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir); all the cities of the tableland and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan (for only Og, king of Bashan, was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. We observed that his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by the ordinary cubit). So we took possession of this land at that time. From Aroer, which is by the valley of Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead and its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh, all the region of Argob (concerning all Bashan—it is called the land of Rephaim Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob as far as the border of the Gershurites and the Maacathites and called it Bashan, after his own name; Havvoth-jair, to this day.) and to Machir I gave Gilead. And to the Reubenites and to the Gadites, I gave from Gilead even as far as the valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon.” (Deut. 3:3–16; see also Num. 21:21–35 32:29–42 Joshua 13:23).

Return to Outline


The People and Lands Conquered by Joshua West of the Jordan River

Joshua 11:16–17

And these [are] kings of the land whom struck Joshua and sons of Israel beyond the Jordan seaward from Baal-gad in a valley of Lebanon and unto The Mountain the Halak, the one rising [toward] Seir. And so gave her Joshua to tribes of Israel, a possession according to their portions, Footnote



And these are the kings whom Joshua and the sons of Israel struck down on the western side of the Jordan from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, the mountain rising toward Seir. And so Joshua gave this land to the tribes of Israel, parceled out according to their allotments,

This remainder of this chapter will summarize what Joshua had conquered during the past several chapters. Many of the kings and cities herein mentioned have already been mentioned; several appear here in this passage for the first time.

The verb form is interesting. To strike down is in the 3rd person, Hiphil perfect, even though the subject is Joshua and the sons of Israel. This is just the way they constructed their sentences. Joshua was their leader and he is spoken of as though he single-handedly struck down their enemies, although that was certainly not the case. Sons of Israel are added in, almost like an afterthought, but they obviously were primarily involved in the battle.


Other than that, there are mostly prepositions to unravel in this verse. After Israel, we have the bêyth preposition and the masculine singular construct of ׳êber (ר ב ֵע) [pronounced ĢAYB-ver] and it means region across, beyond, side. With the bêyth preposition, it means beyond. Strong's #5676 BDB #719. Jordan is followed by the masculine singular noun yâm (ם ָי) [pronounced yawm], and it is a sea or a lake. This word denotes the direction of the Mediterranean from the Palestine area, so it meant seaward, and came to mean west, westward, in reference to direction. Strong’s #3220 BDB #410. What Joshua is recording here is Canaan proper—the Land of Canaan.

Baal-gad’s exact location is unknown, but it was apparently in the northern portion of Joshua’s conquests, somewhere between Mount Lebanon and Mount Hermon (ZPEB suggests near the moder town, Hâsbeiya, possibly at Tell haush, which is 7½ miles north of Hâsbeiya). Footnote Baal-gad is mentioned exclusively by Joshua, and only three times (Joshua 11:17 12:7 13:5). Baal-gad means Baal of fortune.


Next we have bêyth again and the feminine singular construct of biqe׳âh (ה ָע  ׃ק  ̣) [pronounced bike-AW or bik-GAW], which means valley, cleft, plain. Strong’s #1237 BDB #132. This is followed by Lebanon. Then we have, literally, and unto the Mountain the Halak. Mount Halak is southwest from the bottom of the Salt Sea, half-way between the Salt Sea and Kadesh Barnea (from whence they launched their unsuccessful bid for the land forty-some years previous. Mount Halak marks the southern extent of Joshua’s claim upon the land. After Halak, we have the definite article and the Qal active participle of ׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH], which means to go up, to ascend, to rise. Strong's #5927 BDB #748. This is followed by the proper noun Seir. Seir is a mountain range in Edom, extending from the Wady Arnon almost down to the gulf of Aqaba (see Gen. 14:6 32:3). Literally, what follows is and so Joshua gave her [referring to land] to tribes of Israel, a possession according to their allotments. The final word is the feminine plural noun machălôqeth (ת קֹל ֲח ַמ) [pronounced mah-khuh-LOW-keth], which is translated course, division, portion in the KJV. It means division, allotment, course. There is a masculine version of the same noun which means portion, tract, territory. I don’t quite follow the difference other than this one, at least here, in Joshua 11:23, it deals more with the idea of dividing things up and the masculine cognate deals with particular divisions. Later, it became a technical term used for the organization of priests and Levites. Strong’s #4256 BDB #324.

This is the second time that Joshua has stood back and summarized his conquests. We have already read in Joshua 11:16–17: Thus Joshua took all of this land—the mountain country, all the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland; from Mount Halak that rises toward Seir, even as far as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and he struck them down and put them to death.

in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Arabah and in the slopes and in the wilderness and in the Negev—the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites:



in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Arabah and in the slopes and in the wilderness and in the Negev—all the land which had belonged to the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites:


Recall that the word ashedoth (תֹ  ׃ש ַא) [pronounced ashe-DÔTH] as foundation, mountain slopes. Young consistently renders it springs. Strong's #794 BDB #78. Re: the Hittites, Scofield: Until the twentieth century, the Hittites were unknown apart from the Bible. This once puzzling reference to them has, however, been illuminated by the findings of archaeology. From Egyptian monuments (Tell-el-Amarna tablets) and the Assyrian texts, it has been shown that these were the Kheta or Hatti. Expeditions in the first dozen years of this century have swivelled that Boghaz-koi in Asia Minor (east of Ankara, Turkey) was the capital of the Hittite Empire. Periods of Hittite prominence: about 2000–1800 b.c. and about 1400–1200 b.c. Footnote We have covered these groups back in Joshua 3:10; we have covered the lands even more recently in Joshua 11:16. The people were well-established in the land and are mentioned in Ex. 3:8 and 23:23. However, their occupation goes back to the book of Genesis 500 years previous (Gen. 15:18–21). God had given these people a long time to straighten out their act.

Vv. 7–8 summarize the areas and the peoples defeated by Joshua, and the remainder of the chapter will list the kings whom Joshua defeated.

Return to Outline


A List of the Kings Defeated by Joshua

Joshua 6:1–11:23

A king of Jericho—one; a king of the Ai (which [is] beside Bethel)—one;



The king of Jericho; the king of Ai (which is beside Bethel);

The last stop the Israelites made before crossing over the Jordan River was given in Num. 33:48–49: And they journeyed from the mountains of Abarim, and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, opposite Jericho; and they camped by the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab. Jericho was the first city conquered by Israel in Joshua 6.

When Abram was traveling to Egypt, he found himself between Beth-el and Ai and God showed him the land all around him and told him that He would give him the land (Gen. 12:6–8). After defeating Jericho, the Israelites failed to take the city of Ai due to the sin of Achan (Joshua 7); then, once they were cleansed from their sin, they took Ai (Joshua 8). Compared to Jericho, Ai was a smaller city and should have been much easier for Israel to conquer. However, they were out of fellowship due to the sin of Achan. Once they had been cleansed from this sin, they were able to operate within the realm of God’s plan again. This was a simple foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives. Apart from the filling of the Spirit—when we try to operate in sin, in the power of the flesh—our efforts are useless and worthless. Beth-el will be found in several passages in the future and we will examine it in greater detail then.

a king of Jerusalem—one; a king of Hebron—one; a king of Jarmuth—one; a king of Lachish—one; a king of Eglon—one;



the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon,

In Joshua 9, the Gibeonites came to Joshua pretending to be envoys from far away and worked out a treaty with Joshua. It turned out that they were Gibeonites, the next ones on Joshua’s list to be conquered. Almost simultaneously, five kings—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—formed an alliance. When they heard of the treaty made by Gibeon with Israel, they attacked Gibeon. Joshua was forced by the treaty to come to the aide of Gibeon, so Joshua attacked this five-king alliance and routed them, chasing them down and killing most of them (they killed all the soldiers whom they caught up to). The five kings, having no real loyalty whatsoever, retreated to a cave. Joshua had them locked in this cave and soon thereafter publically executed them. This all took place in Joshua 10:1–27.

Barnes: The names of the kings are given in the order of their actual encounter with Joshua. Those enumerated in vv. 10–18 either belonged to the league of the southern Canaanites..., the power of which was broken in the battle of Beth-horon, or were at any rate conquered in the campaign following that battle. Those mentioned in vv. 19–24 were in like manner connected with the northern confederates...who were defeated at the Waters of Merom. Footnote Although we cannot be certain that this is definitely true, this would appear to be a reasonable supposition, seeing that the kings of the north and of the south are separated. It would make sense that the order of their conquering would be likely the case. However, the order given in Joshua 10:29–33 appears to be different than the order which follows. In Joshua 10, it appears as though Joshua is naming these conquests in chronological order, which would give us Makkedah, then Libnah then Lachish and Gezer, then Eglon, then Hebron and then Debir. In fact, the structure of chapter 10 seems to cry out for chronological order. And so Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah, and he fought against Libnah. And Jehovah gave it also with its king into the hands of Israel, and he struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor in it. Thus he did to its king just as he had done to the king of Jericho. .And so Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish, and they camped by it and fought against it and Jehovah gave Lachish in to the hands of Israel; and he captured it on the second day, and struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, according to all that he had done to Libnah (Joshua 10:29–32, etc.). However, here we will have the five-king alliance (Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon), then Gezer, Debir, Hormah, Arad, Libnah, Addulam, Makkedah and Beth-el. We are fine with the listing of the five king alliance first, but then we would expect Makkedah, Libnah, Gezer, and Debir. In Joshua 10, it appears as though the order in which Joshua was in contact with the kings and then with the cities was meant; however, here, we just have a list of them, separating the north from the south at best. Furthermore, there were likely several battles against several cities going on simultaneously. When Israel struck the five king alliance of the south or the coalition of the north, when the troops began to flee, they likely fled in several directions, meaning that Joshua would have had to split up his troops.

a king of Gezer—one; a king of Debir—one; a king of Geder—one;



the king of Gezer, the king of Debir, the king of Geder,

Once Joshua had defeated the five-king alliance, then he moved from city to city. If the order given in Joshua 10 is chronological, then Joshua moved on Makkedah, then Libnah, then Lachish. The city of Gezer and Lachish appeared to have an alliance of sorts, as the king of Gezer came down with his men down to help in the defense of Lachish. Joshua defeated him. Joshua defeated him and killed all of his soldiers, but did not conquer the city or the people of Gezer (Judges 1:29). Then Joshua moved on to conquer Eglon, Hebron, and Debir. This is all covered in Joshua 10:28–43.


The city of Geder is a mystery to us—it is mentioned only here. The Hebrew is Geder (ר ד ) [pronounced GEH-der]; it is guessed that it means wall or bulwark. Strong’s #1445 BDB #155. In Joshua 15:36, in a list of cities given to Judah (which includes the cities mentioned above), we have the city Gedêrâh (ה ָר ֵד  ׃) [pronounced geday-RAW]. Strong’s #1448 BDB #155. Without the vowel points (inserted thousands of years after this was first recorded), the difference between these two words is the addition of the hê at the end of Gederah. For this reason, some have assumed that these cities are identical. We have a mention of someone from this city (assuming that it is one city) in I Chron. 27:28, where Baal-hanan the Gederite is mentioned; he had charge of the olive and sycamore trees in the Shephelah, which is the general area that we are speaking of. Gederite is actually gedêrîy (י ̣ר ֵד  ׃) [pronounced g’day-REE]. Strong’s #1450 BDB #155. These words are likely unrelated to the city of Gederoth or its citizenry, Gederathites (Strong’s #1450 BDB #155 and Strong’s #1452 BDB #155, respectively). Keil and Delitzsch suggest that this could be the Gedor mentioned in Joshua 15:58. That city is gedôr (רד  ׃ג) [pronounced g’DOOR], and you will note the addition of a letter in Gedor. The long o can be written as a vowel point or as a regular letter in the Hebrew, indicating that it is very possible that Geder = Gedor. Strong’s #1446 BDB #155. You may be wondering how can we have a city which was once populated enough to have a king and populated enough to require Israel to conquer it, and then have it disappear from history. There are a couple of simple explanations. Here, the problem is likely a difference of spelling. The vowel points were added thousands of years later, so that some of the rarer proper nouns, such as the ones mentioned here, were given different vowel points by mistake. Another explanation is that the city got re-named, e.g., Kiriath-sannath (Debir) and Kiriath-arba (Hebron) (see Joshua 15:49, 54). Given that these cities are mentioned nearby in both Joshua 12 and 15 also tends to make it more possible that Geder = Gedor.

a king of Hormah—one; a king of Arad—one;



the king of Hormah, the king of Arad,

Arad, located in the northeast Negev, 17 miles south of Hebron, is mentioned but four times in Scripture. This city actually has a rather rich history, first being occupied as far back as the fourth millennium b.c. and then again during the time period of Abraham. Archeological discoveries indicate that Arad was a city of stone and brick with defensive walls by the 10thcentury b.c. Footnote This was the first city conquered by Israel way back in Num. 21:1–3. It was at this point that Israel marched forward, with full intent of entering into the Land of Promise and taking it. During this march, the king of Arad fought against a detachment of Israel and took some of the Israelites captive. Israel, in there first military advance, moved on this city and completely destroyed it. It was then called Hormah. Let’s look at that passage: When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by way of Atharim; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. So Israel made a vow to Jehovah, and said, “If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will completely destroy their cities.” And Jehovah heard the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; then they completely destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah (Num. 21:1–3). Arad is mentioned again in the famous travelogue of Num. 33, in v. 40. It is mentioned in this passage as one of the cities taken (it had already been defeated prior the time of Joshua’s southern campaign. Arad will be mentioned only one more time by that name in Judge 1:16. Our problem here is that Arad’s king and the king of Hormah are both mentioned as two kings whereas Arad appears to be renamed Hormah in Num. 21. I would offer three possible explanations: (1) we should only have one king mentioned here, but both Arad and Hormah are mentioned as the same place. A scribal error would account for the addition of another king (the Septuagint also has two kings). (2) The better explanation is that Moses defeated the king of Arad first back in Num. 21 and destroyed all that lived in the city. However, during the time that Israel moved north along the King’s Highway, another group of peoples settled into this now deserted city, now called Hormah, by Israel (and possibly by them). When Israel invaded the land of Canaan and began to work their way south, they came upon Hormah, formerly called Arad, and destroyed this new people and their king. This would give us two kings—one killed by Moses and the other killed by Joshua (in fact, it all likelihood, Joshua probably took a more active roll than did Moses against Arad back in Num. 21. (3) A third possible explanation is that the name Hormah was given to more than one city. It means a devoted thing, devoted to destruction; so there would be reason to give more than one city that name. This latter explanation might be the more accurate of the three, as Hormah is given to Simeon in Joshua 19:4 and yet it is said to belong to Judah in I Sam. 30:30. My thinking is that both explanations 2 and 3 are both true and we will look at this in more detail in Judges 1:17. Explanation #2 would indicate is that this list is not necessarily chronological, but possibly geographical—that is, the cities are listed as Israel moves further south? I am only guessing and would have to examine a map.

a king of Libnah—one; a king of Adullam—one;



the king of Libnah, the king of Adullam,

The people of Adullam are mentioned as early in Scripture as Gen. 38:1, 12, 20. Judah, a son of Jacob, married an Adullamite woman. There is a sorted story which we will not recount now concerning Judah and his daughter-in-law. However, Adullam is not mentioned again in Scripture until this verse (and we will see it several times later). This was another city defeated by Joshua which was not mentioned specifically. Joshua apparently had to consult his record-keeper for this chapter.

a king of Makkedah—one; [a king of Bethel—one] [not found in the Septuagint];



the king of Makkedah,

Beth-el is mentioned with Ai as sort of an afterthought in Joshua 8:17. This implication of that passage and this is that Joshua and the Israelites conquered it, but we have nothing by way of details. Part of the troops of Israel were camped between Ai and Bethel, looking to approach Ai from behind and take it. Here, we are at a loss. It would make sense for Israel to have conquered it, but it is surprisingly that nothing directly is said. My best explanation for this is that Israel conquered this city later (in Judges 1:22–26), and some one added the city to this list sometime later, because Bethel is not listed in this portion of the Septuagint. It is found in v. 9 to identify where Ai was; but it is not found in v. 16. Now a second, but lesser explanation, is that the troops which camped between the two cities split up and part of them conquered Beth-el. Since these troops were not directly under Joshua’s observation, the details are therefore missing from his book.

One of the things which I attempt to do in exegeting these verses is to uncover apparent discrepancies and lay them to rest, or to deal with alleged contradictions pointed out by critics of the past. There are times when I feel as though I have done an adequate job, as with Beth-el and Hormah; and other times when I feel as though my explanation was lacking. What is important is that none of this affects the inspiration of Scripture. Early on, we examined in great detail the inspiration of the Bible and what it meant. The correct view is the verbal-plenary view, which says that the very words themselves are inspired by God. Each writer of Scripture, without sacrificing his vocabulary, his feelings, his historical perspective, his personality or his upbringing, perfectly recorded the Word of God—not as dictated by God (with the exception of passages where God speaks directly, as we find in most of the book of Leviticus), but as a hypostatic union of the recorded thoughts, visions and historical recollections of man with the actual Word of God, such that, in the original autographs, the very words of God are recorded. The written Word of God closely parallels the Living Word of God—Jesus Christ, Who took upon Himself the form of a man, being at once, fully God and fully man. Because of the warnings issued throughout Scripture against adding to God’s Word or taking from it (e.g., Deut. 4:2 Rev. 21:18–19), the implication is that man would add to God’s Word or take from it. The fact that we have even two manuscripts which differ in any passage indicates that this has occurred. A careful study of textual criticism indicates that this has occurred both intentionally and unintentionally. What is important, when we study the minutia of Scripture, and examine whatever problems exist, either real or imagined, this in no way lessens the fact that God’s Word is inspired. And despite the fact that corruptions have found their way into Scripture, these corruptions have in no way compromised the message of the gospel nor do they confuse the most important and basic doctrines by which we guide our lives.

There are problems with taking either position—that Israel conquered Bethel under Joshua.

Debate: Did Israel Conquer Bethel?



Reasons which support that Israel conquered Bethel.

We are told in Gen. 8:9 and in 12:16 in the Hebrew manuscript that Israel conquered Bethel.

It makes little sense for Israel to conquer Ai but not to conquer Bethel, as these cites are side-by-side.

Reasons which suggest that Israel did not conquer Bethel.

Bethel is not found in the Greek Septuagint, either in Gen. 8:9 or in 12:16.

Israel’s attack against Jericho and against Ai are given in great detail. We would expect more detail if Israel attacked Bethel. The whole tenor of the passage in the Hebrew is that someone simply tacked on the words and Bethel.

It makes little sense to place the conquering of Bethel in Gen. 12:16; it is out of place there. We would expect to find that in Gen. 12:9, where Ai is mentioned.

It would be my opinion that Israel did not conquer the city of Bethel; however, I have no explanation as to why they conquered Ai, but not Bethel.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

a king of Tappuah—one; a king of Hepher—one;



the king of Tappuah, the king of Hepher,

In the previous verses, we have dealt with cities specifically named in Joshua 10; in these next two verses, we have four cities named which Joshua did not mention in Joshua 10. We know very little about these cities, with the exception of Aphek, which is still somewhat of a mystery (see below). It is even very possible that these are cities of central Palestine, encountered as Joshua moved his troops from the south to the north, as these cities seem to be associated with western Manasseh Footnote and Ephraim. These two tribes are both located in central Palestine.

Tappuah, which means apple, is Taphout in the Greek. ZPEB distinguishes between this city and that found in Joshua 15:32 16:8 17:8, placing the latter city (correctly) on the northern boundary of Ephraim. The city of Hepher (‘Opher in the Greek) is mentioned nowhere else in Scripture. Keil and Delitzsch associate this with Tappuah in Joshua 15:34 (associated with Judah), but not with En-Tappuah in 17:7 (associated with Ephraim and Manasseh). There is also a Beth-Tappuah mentioned in I Chron. 2:43 and in Joshua 15:53, which is close to Hebron. The Macmillan Bible Atlas places it in Judah, midway between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, half-way down the Dead Sea, next to Aphekah and Hebron. However, I believe that this is the Tappuah found on the border between Manasseh and Ephraim (Joshua 16:8 and 17:8). Since these cities existed so long ago are so insignificant to us today, it is difficult to place them and give them a proper history.

Hepher is mentioned only in this passage as a city of southern Palestine. We have the family of Hepherites from the tribe of Manasseh in Num. 26:32 and 27:1. There is a reasonable possibility that the name of this city was taken from the tribe and that its original name is not mentioned in Scripture. Hepher is mentioned as a district under the rule of Solomon in I Kings 4:10; this could likely refer to the same general area. There are two other Hepher’s mentioned in Scripture—one is the name of a person and a family of Judah (I Chron. 4:1, 6) and another is the name of a man in David’s honor guard (I Chron. 11:36). These two are certainly unrelated to the references in Num. 26:32 27:1 and Joshua 12:17; the former might be related to the area of Hepher mentioned in I Kings 4:10. The fact that we cannot tie down each and every proper name given in Scripture does not in any way detract from the inspiration of God’s Word. There are times when we can pull together the name of a person and a place and derive some historical import from the references being tied together; and there will be numerous times such as this one where we can, at best, speculate.

a king of Aphek—one; a king of Lasharon—one;



the king of Aphek, the king of Lasharon,

Aphek means stream-bed, strong, fortress. With such a generalized meaning, it could apply to several cities. This name is apparently given to several cities (keeping in mind that our idea of a city and the ancient world’s concept of a city were much different). ZPEB gives it at least four different locations and The New Bible Dictionary gives it five. Therefore, we should refer to the Doctrine of Aphek—not finished yet!! Lasharon is mentioned nowhere in Scripture; it likely distinguishes this Aphek from the others. In the Hebrew, this reads: king of Aphek—one; king of Lasharon—one. In the Greek, however, this reads, literally, king of ’Ophek of the ’Arôk. Although I have several Greek dictionaries, including Kittel’s ten volume set, none of them contain a reference to ‘Arôk, nor can I find it in any of my Encyclopedias, secular or nonsecular; nor in the McMillan Bible Atlas; nor in Durant. This leaves us to only speculate that ‘Arôk and Lasharon (or, Sharon) are the same.

a king of Madon—one; a king of Hazor—one; a king of Shimron-meron—one; a king of Achshaph—one.



the king of Madon, the king of Hazor, the king of Shimron-meron, the king of Achshaph,

One of the authors of ZPEB suggest that from hereonin, we have a list of the kings of the cities who allied themselves with the king of Hazor to oppose Joshua. This is a possibility, but one would think that the king of Hazor would have been mentioned first if that were the case. However, I would lean more toward from this point on being northern cities.

Shimron, Hazor and Madon, we have covered in Joshua 11:1. These three, along with Achshaph, are the four named kings in the northern coalition against Israel. Achshaph, which means sorcery, enchantment, is an old Canaanite town which will be given to the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:25). One of the kings in the northern coalition against Israel was from Achshaph (Joshua 11:1 12:20). It is mentioned in the Egptian Execration Texts of the 19th and 18th centuries b.c., in the Karnak list of places conquered by Tuthmosis III (1490–1436 b.c.), in the Tell el-Amarna letters of the 14th century b.c., and in a 13th century Egyptian letter, the Papyrus Anastasi. Achshaph is tentatively identified with Tell Kisan c. seven m. SE of Acco. Footnote

Most of the names found here in the Hebrew are just about impossible to match with the Greek names in the Septuagint. There are one or two which are close, but even my volume of the Septuagint names v. 15 and then jumps to naming v. 23; the other verses are found in between there—they just are not differentiated because some of the names are so different.

a king of Taanach—one; a king of Megiddo—one; a king of Kedesh—one; a king of Jokneam by Carmel—one.



the king of Taanach, the king of Megiddo, the king of Kedesh, the king of Jokneam by Carmel,

Kedesh, like Aphek, has a name which was used several times as the name of a city. It means sanctuary and there are several Kedesh’s, this one being probably one of the least famous. Suffice to say that this Kedesh is likely in the northern area near the cities named herein. Keil and Delitzsch and Barnes assign this particular Kedesh to Naphtali (Joshua 17:11 21:25), although it is a Levitical city (recall that the Levites did not own a particular plot of land, but were given cities throughout the Land of Promise so that they could minister to their brothers). It is named as the home of Barak (Judges 4:6) and one of the cities which was conquered and the peoples removed by Tiglath-Pileser (II Kings 15:29). Keil and Delitzsch: It is now an insignificant village, still bearing the ancient name, to the north-west of the Lake of Huleh, or, according to Van de Velde (Reise. ii. p.355), nothing but a miserable farmstead upon a Tell at the south-west extremity of a well-cultivated table-land, with a large quantity of antiquities about, viz., hewn stones, relics of columns, sarcophagi, and two ruins of large buildings, with an open and extensive prospect on every side (see also Ro. Bibl. Res. Pp. 367ff). Footnote Now, the problem in what I have just written is that there are actually three Kedesh’s, and failure to recognize this causes us several problems. However, these problems are not clear to the superficial reader of the Bible (which is pretty much almost everybody), so the mistakes are rarely caught. Therefore, now would be the time to examine the Doctrine of the Three Kedesh’s.

Taanach, Megiddo and Jokneam are generally place side by side in a diagonal along the Via Maris, an important coastal road, heading northwest. There were three important passes along this road and these cities guarded each of those passages. Megiddo is almost due east of Dor, with Jokneam northwest of it and Taanac five miles southeast of it. Taanac is on the southern flank of the Valley of Jezreel. It will be assigned to the territory of Issachar, but placed under the control of Manasseh. Taanac has been carefully excavated and we have tablets and Egyptian chronicles establishing an occasional link to Egypt (as we have with many of the cities of Canaan). Taanac was one of the cities in Manasseh but assigned to the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 21:35); however, the Canaanites were never completely expelled. Its name is preserved in the present-day Taânak, a village at the south-eastern foot of Tell Taĕnnak, which Keil and Delitzsch describe as a flat hill sown with corn. Footnote

Megiddo is one of the more colorful cities of Israel, found in the Jezreel Plain. We will cover the history of the city in the future sometime—possibly as far off as Rev. 16:14–16. Footnote

Jokneam was another Levitical city assigned to the Merarite Levites in the territory of Zebulun (Joshua 19:11 21:34). The author who covered Jokneam in ZPEB identified it with the present day Tell Quimun, at the northwest end of the plain of Esdraelon, seven miles northwest of Megiddo. It is one of the fortresses that guarded the routes across Carmel. Although it was not on the main north-south trade route (Via Maris), it was on the branch of it which ran from Megiddo to the plain of Acco. It secured the only pass across Carmel which had access to the port of Dor, and it had the advantage of being the lowest of the passes in elevation...The route was considered by the officers of Thutmose [of Egypt] as a possible alternate route to the Megiddo route. Napoleon used this route for his march against Acre. Footnote According to Barnes, Jokneam can be identified as the modern Kaimon (he uses the qualifying word perhaps). Tell Kaimon is a conspicuous and important position, commanding the main pass across the ridge of Carmel from Phœnicia to Egypt. Footnote Jokneam was assigned to the Merarite families of the Levites and was included in the territory of Zebulun. According to ZPEB, the Carmel spoken of here is Mount Carmel (the city is later mentioned in Joshua 15:55).

a king of Dor in Naphath-dor (i.e., heights of Dor]—one; a king of Goiim to [or, towards] Gilgal—one;



the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, the king of the Goiim near Gilgal,

Let’s first see how others have rendered this verse:


NASB                                ...the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one;...

NKJV                                 ...the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the eking of the people of Gilgal, one;...

The Septuagint                  ...the king of Odollam [belonging] to Phennealdor, the king of Gei of Galilee;...

We have already covered Dor in Joshua 11:2. The Hebrew here reads: a king of Goiim [nations] to Gilgal—one. The Greek reads: ...a king of Gei belonging to Galilee, one king... This could mean ...a king of a generation belonging to Galilee, one king... The way I would like this to read would be, kings of the Gentiles around Galilee, but we would have to pick and choose from both the Hebrew and the Greek, plus use a little imagination to get that. In the Hebrew, the word is masculine plural substantive gôwy (י) [pronounced GOH-ee], which you recognize as goy. This word means people, nation; in the plural it is used predominantly (if not exclusively) for Gentile nations (Gen. 10:5 Lev. 20:38 Deut. 28:65). Strong’s #1471 BDB #156. However, we cannot assume that this is a collective reference to non-Israelites. In Gen. 25:23, it is used as a general reference to the two nations which were within the womb of Rebekah—Israel and Edom. It refers probably to Israel in Isa. 26:2 and Zeph. 2:9. What we need here is the Doctrine of the Word Gôwy—not finished yet!! Hopefully, this doctrine will give us an idea as to whether we are referring to Gentiles in general or whether this is also a proper name of a city or an area. This is followed by the lâmed preposition, which can mean towards, to, for. No Strong's # BDB #510. This is followed by Gilgal in the Hebrew and Galilee in the Greek. This lake was not called Galilee in the time of Joshua, but it was during the time that the Septuagint was translated. The difference between the location of Gilgal and Galilee is that the form er is roughly 20 miles south of the latter down the Jordan River. Why would there be such a difference in the Septuagint? In Isa. 9:1, we have a Messianic passage, which reads: But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times, He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on, He will make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles (gôwy). These three areas are associated together—Gilgal, Galilee and Goiim (Gentiles). Zodhiates suggests that this is another Gilgal—not the one opposite Jericho nor the one near Bethel; this Gilgal was probably located about 42 miles north of Jerusalem, just south of Carmel. Footnote Barnes suggests that this is a king of a group of mixed and nomadic tribes who regarded Gilgal as their primary residence. Keil and Delitzsch consider Goiim a proper noun here as opposed to its general use. It is a very tough call, primarily because the actual words of this verse are in question. My thinking is that these are a nomadic peoples west of the Jordan, north of Gilgal and south of the Sea of Chinnereth. My thinking is that the Gilgal of Joshua 2–3, as a city, did not exist along the Jordan—that it was simply the first major campsite of Israel.

a king of Tirzah—one; all of [the] kings—thirty-one.



the king of Tirzah; the kings numbered 31 in all.

Tirzah was a Canaanite city in the northern portion of Mount Ephraim. It is assumed the present day Tell el-Faŕa is the site of the ancient Tirzah. There appears to be a continuous settlement of people there from 3000 b.c. to the end of the kingdom of Israel. It seems to have been at some sort of a height in the 9th century b.c., but then burned by a fire, which ZPEB suggests might represent civil disorder when Omri was in power (this was the capital of Jeroboam and his successors until the time of Omri). There is also evidence of the subsequent reduction of Tirzah from an important fortress to a virtually open town about the time Samaria was created on a new site. Tirzah was apparently located on an important longitudinal road which led to the Jezreel plain, which explains its significance. Tirzah means pleasantness, delight and the valley in which is was situation was carved out of softer Cennnomanian limestones with a good soil cover, in contrast to the rocky Eocene out crops above the valley. Footnote

This fulfills what Moses promised the people in Deut. :23–24: “But Jehovah your god will deliver them before you and He will throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed. And He will deliver their kings into your hand os that you will make their name perish from under heaven; no man will be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them.”

This next chart may not be of any interest to anyone but myself. There are some disparities between the Greek and the Hebrew, so I am going to give the list of the kings once again, with the Greek, the Hebrew and their corresponding transliterated forms and try to match them up.









חי ̣ר  ׃י







י ַע ָח







 ֵאתי ֵ)







  ̣ם ַל ָשר  ׃י







ןר  ׃ב ה







תמ  ׃ר ַי







שי ̣כ ָל







ןל  ׃ג ע







ר ז 







ר  ̣ב  ׃







ר ד 







ה ָמ  ׃ר ָה







ד ָר ֲע







ה ָנ  ׃ב  ̣ל







ם ָ ֻד ֲע







ה ָד  ̣ ַמ







ל ֵאתי ֵ







 ַח ַ







ר פ ֵח







ק ֵפ ֲא







ןר ָש ַל







ןד ָמ







רצ ָח







ןאר  ׃מ ןר  ׃מ  ̣ש







ף ָש  ׃כ ַא







 ַנ  ׃ע ַ







  ̣ג  ׃מ







ש ד ק







ם ָע ֳנ  ׃ק ָי







 מ  ׃ר ַ)
















































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